An animator and manga artist for 50 years, renowned veteran director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki has officially announced his retirement at the Venice Film Festival, where his latest film, The Wind Rises, is currently screening. While he was not directly present at the film festival when making the announcement, the head of Studio Ghibli, Koji Hoshino, stated that Miyazaki “decided to make [The Wind Rises] his last film and he will now retire.”
No more details have been given at this time, but it was said that the 72-year-old director will be holding a briefing in Tokyo sometime later. Throughout his career, Hayao Miyazaki has been involved in over 40 different animated productions, from television serials to feature-length and short films. He began as a key animator for Toei Animation before moving up as a director for Tokyo Movie Shinsha, where he made two Lupin the Third movies, and later creating Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. This allowed the founding of Studio Ghibli, where many of his successful films, including Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, were made. An advocate of traditional hand-drawn animation, his lifelike watercolor animation, incredible attention to detail, and thematic musings about nature, pacifism and a longing for a simpler time have touched the hearts of viewers and critics alike, earning him many accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture in 2002 for Spirited Away.
It is unknown if Miyazaki will continue animating smaller projects in his own time, but the works he produced throughout his career are to be cherished forever.
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